The world’s two largest populations with vibrant economies share opening trade borders with Nepal. Increasing ease of trade, open border policies and infrastructure development all indicate a very strong growth potential, both within and through Nepal. When viewed historically, acting as an arbitrage agent between India and China has always been Nepal’s key economic strength.
The consumption of cosmetic products grew by 19.6 percent in Fiscal Year 2016/17 compared to FY2015/16. Nepal had imported cosmetic products worth NPR 3.65 billion in FY2015/16, while cosmetic products worth NPR 3.24 billion had entered the country in FY2014/15. Nepal mostly imports cosmetic products from countries like India, China, South Korea, the US and the UK, among others.
Cosmetic Brands in Nepal
Nepal has around 100 cosmetics brands including international brands like Lakme, L’Oreal, Garnier and Emami as well as Astaberry, Lotus, Ayur, Mac’s Lavera, Ole, Nova, Chase, Aroma Magic, etc. A major chunk of cosmetic products sold in Nepal currently are imported from India. Other countries that Nepal imports cosmetic products from include China, Singapore, Thailand, UAE and Europe. Nepalese people are slowly understanding the importance of beauty and personal care products. While cosmetic products used to be considered a luxury until a few years ago, they have turned into a necessity today.
Along with the growing market for cosmetic products, customer preference is changing drastically. People are demanding products as per their need in contrast to the past when customers used to simply buy products were available in the market. A lot of people are also moving from lesser priced products to premium ones. The rise in awareness due to the media has forced traders to bring in products to satiate the need of choosy and demanding customers. The awareness level of customers has turned the market fiercely competitive. Though women still make up more than 80 per cent of the customers, the number of male customers is growing. The entry of products designed for men in recent years has helped the market grow significantly. Men’s products such as after shave, deodorant, perfume, hair gel and skin care items are popular among male customers.
Cosmetics are an addiction among Nepalese, around 10 to 12 new brands enter the market every month and still, all of them manage to survive. The influence of western lifestyles and persuasive television programmes and cinema have helped to push up the sales figures of cosmetics products. Consumption of cosmetic products is high in the rural market as well with remittance playing a crucial role. Customers living in small towns too have become more selective. People who used soaps for all purposes earlier are now shifting to products like shampoo and face wash. An increase in the population in semi-urban and urban market places too has helped in the growth of sales for cosmetics products
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